The current state of construction insurance (With Samantha Peat)

Published on 17 May 2021

Welcome to Insurance Covered! The podcast that looks at the inner workings of the insurance industry with the help of expert guests. This week we are joined by Samantha Peat, Chair of the professional indemnity insurance group at the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) and we will be discussing the current state of construction insurance, focusing on findings from a recent survey.

We start by discussing who the CLC are and what they do. Samantha explains that they are a group that aim to provide sector leadership in the construction industry by working with the government and construction companies to develop solutions and initiatives to help with any issues they currently face. We go on to look specifically at the PI insurance group that Samantha chairs. She explains her group consists of professionals from across the construction industry as well as representatives from brokers and insurers.

We discuss a recent survey carried out by the CLC that looked at PI insurance within construction aimed at identifying what the major concerns of the industry are, with the assumption that it would identify the impact COVID-19 was having on the industry. "What the survey did reveal was that COVID-19 was the least of peoples worries and the cost and scope of cover as well as exclusions were the major issues". It identified that following the Grenfell tragedy restrictions on cover were introduced on PI cover, initially very specific exclusions around combustible cladding but as time went on these exclusions became more general and made the scope of cover far too limited. Samantha goes on to explain that they felt the need to take this problem to government for their intervention to solve this issue at a much higher level. The survey acted as a way of identifying these kind of issues at a wider level and give the government data to act on.

Samantha then takes us through the 3 key trends highlighted from the survey, these are:

  • Premiums set at unsustainable levels.
  • High excesses being imposed on insureds.
  • Restrictive exclusions on cover relating to cladding or wider fire safety, preventing firms from operating with full protection.

She goes on to explain why these are creating so many problems for the industry. "The important thing is to get the remedial work done on buildings with cladding, people are being asked to sleep in places where they do not feel safe, which is unacceptable... The question is who can do this work with the restrictive exclusions, are firms expected to do this uninsured? It's clear that a solution needs to be found that protects all parties involved.

Finally, we discuss the potential outcomes from this survey. Samantha explains the reception of the data from government has been well received and they are actively engaging in coming up with a solution for the issues it highlights.

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